December 1, 2014
In Blog News
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday accused the United States of preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state, urging the Obama administration in an interview aired on Egyptian television to support the Palestinian bid at the United Nations Security Council – or at the very least, to refrain from vetoing it.
In the interview, Abbas called on the U.S. to “preserve [its] honor as a superpower and operate in accordance with international obligations, which are coordinated with the interests of the American people, and to support the Palestinian proposal to the Security Council or not to impose a veto.”
The Palestinian president made these remarks hours after announcing that the Palestinian proposal calling for an end to Israeli occupation and recognition of the Palestinian state within the 1967 borders would soon be submitted to the UN.
Abbas also expressed regret at U.S. lawmakers’ recommendation to freeze financial assistance to the Palestinians and prevent the convening of signatory countries to the Geneva Convention, which the PA wants to join.
“This is very regrettable behavior,” Abbas said. “They see me as the one responsible for the violence while the head of internal security in Israel has said clearly and openly that this is not the case. I don’t incite either overtly or covertly, and I hope the Senate recommendation and the freeze on assistance will not be implemented.”
Abbas also referred to the declaration by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi last week that Egypt is willing to deploy a policing force within the area of the Palestinian state if it is established. He said that the Palestinians welcome such a proposal: “There is no question that we will need an Arab force to help us maintain security and stabilize the Palestinian state, and there is no question that Egypt is the leader on this issue,” he said in an Egyptian television interview Saturday night.
Abbas, who met with al-Sissi at the end of an Arab League meeting in Cairo on Saturday, said that since June 30 of last year Egyptian support for the Palestinian position has strengthened, not only for the sake of the Palestinians but for the sake of stability in the region.
According to a report in the Ramallah-based newspaper Al-Ayyam Sunday morning, al-Sissi said that a solution to the Palestinian issue is one of the cornerstones for stability in the Middle East and will eliminate many arguments used by the extremists who are working to undermine stability in the region.
Despite that, one of the issues whose fate is still unclear is rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip. While Abbas expresses support for Egyptian activity along the border with the Strip and the establishment of a buffer zone, the rehabilitation process is still being conducted very slowly and is causing unrest in the Strip. The leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad threatened in declarations at the end of the week and last week to renew the clashes if the Palestinian government doesn’t lead the rehabilitation process as it promised. At the same time, sources in Ramallah accuse Hamas of continuing to control the crossings and the centers of power in the Strip, thereby preventing the government from functioning.